Smoke On Go

Gallery: Abri Kriegler of Canon SA

Abri Kriegler, Product Manager, ITCG Marketing and Product Management, Canon South Africa chatted to us about his passion for aviation photography, why he ranks Canon as the world’s best camera brand, and shared a few of his favourite photographs.

Always loved a “Sandy” and seeing it in real life…priceless. The size of the prop!

When did you discover photography?

I started playing around with photography rather late in my life, but have been happily hooked ever since. I started taking photos in the film era and if I look back at the developments that have happened with regards to the ease of taking photos and sharing them, I find it difficult to relate to those early years.

Has aviation been a lifelong passion?

I have been involved in aviation since I was born. My father, Ben Kriegler, was a pilot in the South African Airforce, and introduced me to all things aviation from an early age. I was also a part of the South African Airforce for a few years and I can honestly say that aviation is in my blood. It was a natural progression for me to take photos of, and to share my passion for aviation.

Photography, even aviation photography, is about telling a story. You always need to remember that the viewer of your photo was not with you when you took it, and needs to understand your passion simply from looking at your photo.

Can you tell us about your work at Canon South Africa

I’m a product manager for Canon and manage all photo video products. These range from traditional point-and-shoot cameras up to the EOS 1Dx Mk III. 

Highlights of my career would include the immense amount of travelling that we do. Being involved in the launches of new products are invigorating and getting to test new “monsters” even more so.

Why Canon? What do you love about the brand?

I see the Canon brand and its products as a family. I always mention the synergy between products and the fact that photographers refer to themselves as part of the Canon family. I am extremely brand loyal, not just because I work for the brand, but because I believe in the products and their inherent quality.

My favourite Canons right now are the awesome Canon EOS 1Dx Mark III and the Canon EOS R5. Having said that, there has been an announcement of the Canon EOS R3, and I can honestly say that I have never wanted to own a camera this badly.

Lens-wise, I absolutely love my Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS USM ii lens and many people have told me that it seems to be attached to me. My back does complain after shooting with it for a whole day at an airshow.

What are your most memorable aviation photography moments?

Highlights for me would have to include going to EAA Airventure in Oshkosh for the first time in 2014. I loved it so much that I went back the next year and also got engaged to my wife while flying in a Boeing Stearman! My local highlights include involvement in many airshows and being able to photograph them and share my passion.

All time highlight was flying with my dad in the SAAF’s Avro Shackleton during the practice run for the Stellenbosch Airshow in 2004.

Enjoy a selection of Abri’s aviation and sport photography, as well as a magnificent photo taken by his talented young daughter Amelie.

I would hate to be on the bad side of this bird of prey. The 8th club!
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/8, Av (aperture value): 32, Metering mode: spot metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 500.0mm

When the light goes… switch to black and white.
Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/160, Av (aperture value): 7.1, Metering mode: spot metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 500.0mm

The pilot skills involved here are phenomenal. I was lying on the ground, facing them with absolute trust.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/160, Av (aperture value): 13, Metering mode: evaluative metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 100.0mm

Looking for the unique, and sometimes the opportunity is there. Live for every moment!
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/160, Av (aperture value): 4, Metering mode: evaluative metering, ISO Speed: 250; Focal length: 46.0mm

Down and dirty, A welcome sight in any situation.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/25, Av (aperture value): 11, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 46.0mm

Mr Player said: “The more you practise, the luckier you get…” One can feel the raw power just looking at this shot.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/640, Av (aperture value): 5, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 200.0mm

When the pilot looks at you while going past, special. The gunfighter stare.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/640, Av (aperture value): 8, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 500.0mm

Pierre Gouws, man, you don’t get into aircraft, you wear them.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/400, Av (aperture value): 8, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 500.0mm

Absolute trust and immense flying skills from Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish.
Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/125, Av (aperture value): 14, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 400.0mm

Gene Soucy at Oshkosh during the night display. One of my personal favourite shots.
Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/320, Av (aperture value): 4, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 2500; Focal length: 300.0mm

The original jet gunfighter. Proven track record in the days before “shoot and scoot” missile engagements.
Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/500,Av (aperture value): 4, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 200; Focal length: 500.0mm

A “planned” shoot that nearly did not happen. We only got one pass due to our need to close down a large airport to chase these guys down the runway.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/160, Av (aperture value): 14, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 50.0mm

Skip and Melissa displaying in front of a massive pyro display.
Canon EOS-1D X, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/250, Av (aperture value): 7.1, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 100; Focal length: 500.0mm

The intense concentration on the face of Tommy Fleetwood to not only stay in contention, but ultimately win the 2019 Nedbank golf tournament at Sun City.
Canon EOS R, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/1600, Av (aperture value): 2.8, Metering mode: Evaluative Metering, ISO Speed: 100;
Focal length: 95.0mm

A hill climb timed race in one of these is just wow, as is facing this beast as it hurtles towards you at over 150kph.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Lens: EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, Shooting mode: Aperture-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/500, Av (aperture value): 4, Metering mode: Spot Metering, ISO Speed: 1600;
Focal length: 500.0mm

Talent runs in the family

Abri’s daughter, Amelie , shares his passion for photography, and has a great eye! She took the magnificent photo below, and says: “I was very excited to see the Gripens flying toward the sun. I picked up my camera and took a few photos hoping for a good shot. I was very happy to see that the photo looked very good and even happier that my dad, mommy and Uncle Justin did not get it because they were not outside. They were getting something to drink. Photographers should not get drinks while aeroplanes are flying!”

Amelie, we couldn’t agree more!

Gripen formation by Amelie Krieger.
Canon EOS 70D, Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM, Shooting mode: Shutter-Priority AE, Tv (shutter speed): 1/160, Av (aperture value): 25, Metering mode: Evaluative metering, ISO Speed: 100;
Focal length: 182.0mm